Broncos hold off fast-finishing Warriors
The Broncos have fought off a spirited second-half comeback from the Warriors to earn a valuable 24-16 victory at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday.
A Corey Parker penalty and try to Andrew McCullough in the dying minutes got Brisbane home for their third-straight victory, but there were plenty of nervous moments along the way.
In a dominant first-half showing, Brisbane controlled proceedings and established an early lead thanks to tries in the 11th and 16th minutes through wingers Corey Oates and Lachlan Maranta respectively.
Brisbane were controlling play well and didn't commit a single handling error until the 26th minute.
Had it not been for some sloppy execution close to the line Wayne Bennett's men could have gone over for another two scores mid-way through the first half.
Given the way the game had flowed, Andrew McFadden would have been relieved to go to the break only 10 points down, but with two minutes to go Manu Vatuvei capped off an unhappy half for the home side's back three.
After fumbling at the play the ball he gifted the Broncos a set deep inside Warriors' territory which they used to full effect, barging over through interchange forward Jarrod Wallace and stretching the lead to 16-0 at the break.
A strong start to the second stanza saw Chad Townsend go over after scooping up the scraps from a Shaun Johnson bomb on 45 minutes and after the conversion the gap was back to 10.
With 15 minutes to go the home side put themselves right back in the contest after a clever double-round play from Nathan Friend set Johnson free.
The reigning Golden Boot winner split the Brisbane defence with initial pace before producing a flick pass for Matt Allwood to score on his club debut.
Trailing by four the Warriors took to the air, peppering Brisbane with the high ball again.
For 70 minutes young fullback Jordan Kahu had been up to the job, but he was no match for Vatuvei on this occasion, as the giant Kiwi international tipped the ball back for a waiting Solomone Kata who dotted down to make it 16 apiece.
Johnson's miss on the ensuing conversion attempt proved a game changer.
With the game sitting at 16-all a Ben Matulino ruck infringement inside the 10 gifted Parker with an easy two points to reassume the lead.
From there the Warriors' frantic play became their own undoing and a short dropout gone wrong in the final minute allowed McCullough seal a 24-16 victory.
The Broncos head to the Gold Coast for the local derby next Friday, while the Warriors will need to recover quickly if they are any chance of taking points from the Storm away.
Broncos 24 (Oates, Maranta, Wallace, McCullough tries Parker 4 goals) def. Warriors 16 (Townsend, Allwood, Kata tries; Johnson 2 goals at Mt Smart Stadium. Crowd: 14,67. Halftime: 16-0.